Representing Bodies in Early Modern England (ENGL 82100)

Tanya Pollard

T 4:15-6:15, Fall 2008                                                            Office: 4408 GC

Class:  GC 3308                                                                     Office phone 212-817-8351

e-mail:                                    hours: T 3:15-4:15, and by appt.










Thomas Elyot, from The Castle of Helth (London, 1539); Helkiah Crooke, from Mikrokosmographia (London, 1616); Gail Kern Paster, The Body Embarrassed (1993), 1-17; Michael Schoenfeldt, Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 1999), 1-18; Bruce R Smith, “Introduction,” Shakespeare Studies 29 (2001), 19-27 (Academic Search Premier); Gail Kern Paster, Humoring the Body (Chicago, 2004), 1-7.



Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew; Lynda E. Boose, “Scolding Brides and Bridling Scolds: Taming the Woman's Unruly Member,” Shakespeare Quarterly 42.2 (1991),179-213 (JSTOR); Gail Kern Paster, from “‘Love Will Have Heat’: Shakespeare’s Maidens and the Caloric Economy,” Humoring the Body, 77-89 & 125-134.



Ben Jonson, Volpone; Timothy Bright, A Treatise: Wherein is Declared the Sufficiencie of English Medicines (London, 1580), 1-10; Harriet Hawkins, “Folly, Incurable Disease, and VolponeStudies in English Literature 8 (1968), 335-348; Jonathan Gil Harris, “‘I Am Sailing to My Port, Uh! Uh! Uh! Uh!’: The Pathologies of Transmigration in Volpone,” Literature and Medicine 20.2 (Fall 2001): p109-32 (Project Muse).



no class.



Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair; Tobias Venner, A Briefe and Accurate Treatise, Concerning The taking of the fume of Tobacco (London, 1621); Gail Kern Paster, “Bartholomew Fair and the Humoral Body,” Early Modern English Drama: A Critical Companion, ed. Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr., Patrick Cheney, & Andrew Hadfield (Oxford, 2006), 260-71; Gail Kern Paster, “Leaky Vessels: The Incontinent Women of City Comedy,” Renaissance Drama 18 (1987), 43-65.



no class (Monday conversion day)



Stephen Gosson, The Schoole of Abuse (London, 1579; Renascence editions,; Heather James, “Dido's Ear: Tragedy and the Politics of Response,” Shakespeare Quarterly 2001 (JSTOR); Cynthia Marshall, “Bodies in the Audience,” Shakespeare Studies (29) 2001, 51-57 (Academic Search Premier)



Shakespeare, Hamlet; David Hillman, "The Inward Man: Hamlet," in Shakespeare's Entrails: Belief, Scepticism, and the Interior of the Body (Palgrave, 2007); Daryl W. Palmer, “Hamlet’s Northern Lineage: Masculinity, Climate, and the Mechanician in Early Modern Britain,” Renaissance Drama 35 (2006), 3-25.



The Revenger’s Tragedy; Karin S. Coddon, “‘For Show or Useless Property’: Necrophilia and The Revenger's Tragedy,” ELH 61.1 (1994), 71-88 (Project Muse); Jonathan Sawday, “The Autoptic Vision,” from The Body Emblazoned: Dissection and the Human Body in Renaissance Culture (London & New York, Routledge, 1995), 1-15.



Hugh Platt, from Delights for Ladies (London, 1602); Thomas Tuke, from A Treatise Against Painting and Tincturing of Men and Women (London, 1616); Frances Dolan, “Taking the Pencil Out of God’s Hand: Art, Nature, and the Face-Painting Debate in Early Modern England,” PMLA 108 (1993), 224-239 (JSTOR); Farah Karim-Cooper, “Early Modern Cosmetic Culture,” from Cosmetics in Shakespearean And Renaissance Drama (Edinburgh University Press, 2006), 34-66.



Webster, The Duchess of Malfi; Lori Schroeder Haslem, “‘Troubled with the Mother’: Longings, Purgings, and the Maternal Body in Bartholomew Fair and The Duchess of Malfi,” Modern Philology 92.4 (1995), 438-59 (JSTOR); Wendy Wall, “Just a Spoonful of Sugar: Syrup and Domesticity in Early Modern England,” Modern Philology 104.2 (2006), 149-72 (EBSCO).



Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis; Richard Halpern, “‘Pining Their Maws’: Female Readers and the Erotic Ontology of the Text in Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, in Venus and Adonis: Critical Essays, ed. Philip C. Kolin (Garland, 1997), 377-88; Katherine Duncan-Jones, “Playing Fields or Killing Fields: Shakespeare's Poems and Sonnets,” Shakespeare Quarterly 54.2 (2003) 127-141 (Project Muse).



Marston, The Metamorphosis of Pigmalion’s Image; Ian Moulton, Before Pornography (Oxford, 2000), 1-32; David O. Frantz, “Leud Priapians” and Renaissance Pornography, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 12:1(1972), 157-172 (JSTOR).



Bodies in the theater: Carla Mazzio. “Acting with Tact: Touch and Theater in the Renaissance,” in Sensible Flesh: On Touch in Early Modern Culture, ed. Elizabeth Harvey (Philadelphia: U Penn, 2003), 159-186; Jane Tylus, “‘ Par Accident’: The Public Work of Early Modern Theater,” in Reading the Early Modern Passions, ed. Gail Kern Paster, Katherine Rowe, and Mary Floyd-Wilson (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), 253-271; Carolyn Sale, “Eating Air, Feeling Smells: Hamlet’s Theory of Performance,” Renaissance Drama 35 (2006), 145-168.





I have ordered the following texts at Book Culture (formerly Labyrinth Books; 536 West 112th St, at Broadway) to ensure that they are readily available. These editions, however, aren’t crucial, so you are welcome to use others if you already own them, or can find them at lower cost.

          William Shakespeare, Hamlet

          William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew

          Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair

          Ben Jonson, Volpone

          Thomas Middleton/Cyril Tourneur, Revenger’s Tragedy

          John Webster, Duchess of Malfi

          William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis (in The Sonnets and Narrative Poems)

Other readings will be available through internet databases, if marked in bold; through E-reserves, if not; or (for early modern texts not in print) directly from me. Our class password for E-reserves is englpollard. When in doubt about how to find a text, check with me.


Recommended Additional Readings


          One final term paper, 12-15 pages

          Three written response essays (2 to be given as class presentations). Each written response should be 2-3 pages, and should explore a different one of the following options:

                      OED research: use the online OED (available in “Databases” on the library webpage) to research the etymology, contemporary meaning(s), and connotations of a significant word or words in the text under consideration. Discuss how your discoveries affect the meaning of the line, passage, and text in which the word occurs.

                      Close reading: choose a brief passage (10-20 lines) and analyze how features such as images, verbal patterns, allusions, irony, and double (or multiple) meanings contribute to the passage’s meanings and its role in the text at large.

                      Choose an apparently minor character, scene, or episode, and explain its significance.

                      Respond to or critique one of the assigned critical essays, evaluating its approach and payoff.

                      Answer a question from a set of topics that I will provide for each text.

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